The Formula One championship is still in the balance, with Lewis Hamilton leading Sebastian Vettel by just three points. But it was a controversial race on Sunday as Hamilton crashed into Verstappen while trying to overtake him for third place.
Lewis Hamilton was found guilty of causing a collision with Max Verstappen. However, many people have been arguing that the blame should be on Verstappen for his actions.
SILVERSTONE, England – SILVERSTONE, England – The British Grand Prix will be a long time before the dust settles.
The Silverstone crash between title rivals Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was not only a pivotal moment in this year’s championship, but also a watershed event in what is shaping up to be one of F1’s most famous rivalries.
Just as Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost’s crashes at Suzuka in 1989 and 1990, and Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill’s fight in Adelaide in 1994 are remembered, the 2021 British Grand Prix will be remembered as the day when Hamilton and Verstappen threw down the gloves.
Sunday’s disaster, like the others before it, had an air of inevitability about it. The battle between Verstappen and Hamilton had been brewing for the first nine races of the season, with wheel-to-wheel action in Bahrain, Imola, Portimao, Barcelona, and France, but the explosive nature of the incident, which resulted in Verstappen being flown to hospital for precautionary checks, was still shocking.
-Horner labels Hamilton a “amateur” and claims he put Verstappen in danger.
-Verstappen criticizes Hamilton’s celebrations.
On Sunday night, the debate over whether Hamilton was to fault split opinion in the paddock, as did the stewards’ 10-second punishment, which Hamilton overcame to win the race.
Verstappen was understandably disappointed by the result, despite being unable to talk to the media, and Christian Horner, his Red Bull team principal, was enraged.
“It doesn’t seem like much of a punishment to put a fellow driver in the hospital, write out the vehicle, and get a trivial penalty while winning the Grand Prix,” Horner remarked. “It simply seemed like a desperate move on Lewis’ part.”
“He lost the start, went down the straight, wheel banging with Max, then to put a wheel up the inside of Copse turn, one of the quickest corners in the championship, pretty much flat out, 180 mph, there’s only going to be one result like that.”
“It’s sad that a seven-time world champion takes such a desperate action and puts another driver in the hospital.”
Mercedes disputed such claims by using the stewards’ protocol for determining responsibility in such situations as evidence that Hamilton was not at fault (although by Sunday evening the team had the result it wanted, meaning the vocabulary was rather less forceful).
Just before their collision at the British Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen pose together. Getty Images/Dan Istitene/Formula 1/Formula 1
“We didn’t believe the penalty was justified,” said Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ director of trackside engineering. “If you look at the criteria the stewards have to decide who is in fault in terms of overtaking, Lewis was enough alongside, and we thought Max should have left him racing space,” said the team.
“If you look at the sprint race and even the first lap of the main race, Lewis was continuously backing out of it to prevent a collision, and he was able to place his vehicle in a position where he could hold his ground.” Max is a reckless driver, and it seemed inevitable that we would have an accident there one day.
“However, we were delighted with Lewis’ performance and somewhat upset by the penalty; we were simply glad that we were still able to win the race.”
Fortunately, Verstappen was uninjured in the collision and received a clean bill of health later that evening, but the race’s consequences would be felt for a long time.
After winning the race, Hamilton gained a 25-point advantage in the drivers’ standings, while Mercedes gained a 40-point advantage in the constructors’ standings. Above all, the level of competition for both championships has increased considerably this year.
Who was to blame for this?
The incident was the climax of a half-lap of intense and fast racing, but it had its roots in the sprint race the day before.
Saturday’s sprint, the first of its type in Formula One, established the grid for Sunday’s race, with Verstappen overtaking Hamilton at the first turn to win pole position. Later in the first lap of the race, Hamilton tried to battle back, but he ended himself on the outside of Copse turn, the same place where they crashed on Sunday, and was forced to back out.
Although overtaking is possible during the first eight turns of a Silverstone lap, the 180 mph Copse curve is usually the deciding factor, since it is followed by a high-speed sequence known as Maggots, Becketts, and Chapel, which is nearly always single file.
Hamilton had no option but to back off on his approach to Copse on Saturday since Verstappen had the inside line and could defend. However, the Mercedes driver realized after that event that he had a straight-line speed advantage on the previous straight, which he might exploit to push his way up the inside on Sunday if the same scenario occurred.
“I went down the left-hand side on Saturday and I really regretted not going for the space down the right-hand side, so I dummied him, moved to the left, then moved to the right for that gap,” Hamilton said after the race.
“I was very close to him, but I could see he wasn’t going to back out, so we proceeded around the curve and crashed. Of course, that’s never how I want to win a race or race in general, but things like this do happen.”
Mercedes’ data also showed that the Red Bull’s Honda engine was not putting all of the energy from its hybrid system into the flat-out Copse turn, while the Mercedes’ power unit did. If the two were battling on the approach to the corner on Sunday, Hamilton knew he’d have an additional small advantage.
But Hamilton also understood that if he didn’t take the position on the first lap at Copse, like he did on Saturday, chasing down and passing the Red Bull for the rest of the race would be very tough. It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance that may not have come around again.
“I believe he was well aware of that,” Horner added. “I believe he was wound up by yesterday’s outcome, and I think the atmosphere, the fans, and everything, he was clearly very driven and made a huge misjudgment.”
“Yes, he received a penalty, but it’s mostly irrelevant. I believe that was his only chance. He knew if Max had came around that corner, he wouldn’t have seen him for the rest of the day. It was a desperate action on my part that, fortunately, did not result in anything more serious than a totaled vehicle and a bruised and beaten driver.”
At the start of the British Grand Prix, Max Verstappen was ahead of Lewis Hamilton until they collided at Copse. Getty Images/Dan Istitene/Formula 1/Formula 1
On the approach to Copse on Sunday, Hamilton positioned himself on the inside and beside Verstappen. However, the Mercedes driver’s tighter angle meant he had to back out further than Verstappen before turning in as they neared the corner. As a result, Hamilton was slightly behind Verstappen as the two cars approached the turn, which is why his front left tyre collided with Verstappen’s front right.
The stewards’ decision, which found Hamilton primarily to blame, cited Hamilton’s distance from the apex at the time of the accident as the reason the Mercedes driver was at fault. With or without the collision, Hamilton is unlikely to come near to the black and white painted kerbs on the inside of the turn, according to onboard video. Verstappen, on the other hand, was similarly dedicated to the turn and, according to Hamilton, cuts over in front of the Mercedes.
According to the paper Shovlin alludes to in the statement above, if a driver has the inside line and is substantially alongside his opponent, as Hamilton was, he is within his rights to try a move as long as he can “make the turn cleanly.”
Although the paper, obtained by ESPN, is very simple and is designed as a reference for lower-speed bends than Copse, the stewards may still claim that Hamilton did not complete the turn cleanly by missing the apex by the amount he did and colliding with Verstappen. The stewards’ report on the event, however, made no mention of such instruction.
However, Charles Leclerc, who was third at the time and was immediately behind the collision, thought it should have been handled as a racing incident.
He said, “I believe there was a racing incident.” “It’s tough to assign responsibility to one party or the other.
“Obviously, there was room on the inside; maybe Lewis wasn’t at the apex, but it’s also true that Max was very aggressive on the outside; things happen; the most important thing today is that Max is unhurt and well.”
However, it’s essential to remember that only a few individuals on the planet have experienced what it’s like to drive these vehicles at their limits, and even seasoned drivers like Daniel Ricciardo, who has been racing in Formula One for ten years, has trouble describing an event as complex as Sunday’s.
“It’s difficult,” Ricciardo said. “They’re competing for the title, and they’re competing hard.” And it seems like Max gave him space, but in these high-speed bends, you lose downforce when you go that close.
“Obviously, nothing was done on purpose, but Lewis seemed to understeer into him; I’m not sure whether this is being examined. But the most important thing is that Max is, for the most part, unharmed.”
Later in the race, Hamilton made a similar drive for the lead on Leclerc without making contact, but Leclerc went wide and off the road after giving Hamilton room. Despite the fact that no two situations are the identical, Hamilton believes Verstappen should have behaved similarly on lap one.
“For starters, Charles was extremely kind in leaving a space,” Hamilton remarked. “I got close enough to him to let him know I was there, but he remained committed and just took a wider line, and he almost maintained it [on the track], and it was really exciting racing.”
“In that time, I believe I backed out at one point trying to make sure we didn’t collide, but I think it was just a very beautiful balance, and I think that’s how racing should go and close. That would have occurred in an ideal world on the first try, but it was a different time, place, and driver.”
“I knew Lewis was inside, so I left a gap,” Leclerc said. “Unfortunately, I believe I had remained in front, but at the very end of the corner, I had a snap and lost a little time, and then Lewis came in front of me.”
On Sunday, Lewis Hamilton claimed his seventh British Grand Prix victory. Getty Images/Dan Istitene/Formula 1/Formula 1
Hamilton went on to win in front of his home fans, gaining 25 valuable points and closing the deficit on Verstappen in the drivers’ standings to just eight points. The victory came after five straight Red Bull wins during a time in which Verstappen’s vehicle seems to be improving and Mercedes has acknowledged to shutting down development on Hamilton’s.
When Formula One returns in Budapest in two weeks, the emphasis will be on the additional tension rather than the arithmetic of the championship race. Verstappen tweeted before being discharged from the hospital that the punishment did not “give justice to the risky maneuver Lewis made on track,” and that “seeing the celebrations while still in hospital is rude and unsportsmanlike behavior.”
Hamilton reacted on social media, saying the race was “a reminder of the risks we face in the sport” and wishing Verstappen “best wishes” and describing him as a “great competitor.”
The seven-time winner said some kind things, but they weren’t meant to be taken as an apology.
“I watched a short clip of it when I got back to the garage,” Hamilton said after the race. “But I’ll naturally go back and have time to think on it.” “I don’t believe I’m in a position to apologize for anything, based on my present knowledge.” We’re out on the track.
“I heard Max is in the hospital, and that worries me a lot. We don’t want any of us to be hurt, and that’s never my goal, so I truly hope he’s okay.
“I’ll call him after this just to make sure he’s okay, and we’ll fight another day.” There will be many difficult races ahead, and we must learn to find a good balance. I disagree with the stewards, but I accept my punishment and go about my business. It’s not anything I’m going to complain about.
“Everyone will have a different point of view. I don’t give a damn what other people think, so I just do what I do, and I’m thankful for today.”
The 2021 season has 10 races under its belt, but it’s just the beginning.
The f1 news is a question that has been on the minds of many. Lewis Hamilton’s collision with Max Verstappen was controversial, but did Lewis really deserve to be blamed for the incident?
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